In this day and age, you no longer need to flesh out hundreds of dollars on recording studio sessions to make high-quality songs. Home studios can not only be a more affordable option, but can also be just as effective as high-end studios when it comes to creating professional-sounding music. All you need are the right tools.
One of the most important and essential elements of any home studio is a Digital Audio Workstation, (DAW).
If you’re new to the music production world, you’re probably lost at how to find the right DAW for you. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, especially with these great DAWs for beginners.
Cakewalk by Bandlab is full of great features for tracking, mixing, and editing.
Not only is it a great DAW for beginners; it’s completely free to use for PC users.
One perk about choosing cakewalk is that it provides Unlimited tracks – unlike other free DAWs. Cakewalk also lets you store multiple mixes of the same project. This helps tremendously with creating an organized and efficient workspace. The DAW comes with 33 virtual instruments, and is competing to be the “new standard for the modern recording studio.”
Check out more info on Cakewalk here.
Track Suite Pro
We designed Track Suite Pro to be the easiest and fastest tool to create music beds and professional tracks for your songwriting. Track Suite Pro revolves around its simplicity, offering artists and producers the tools considered necessary in formulating a demo from start to finish.
This DAW includes instrumental features such as piano, acoustic guitar, eclectic guitar, bass, synth pad, percussion, live drums, programmed drums, etc. With a comprehensive layout and function process, Track Suite Pro is a DAW that makes sense for both beginners and seasoned artists.
Track Suite Pro is a complimentary bonus of our online community and resource collection for songwriters, Songchasers. This means you can get access to it for free upon signing up for the Songchaser’s community.
Learn more here.
FL studio, formerly known as Fruity Loops, is a very popular beginner DAW with a lot of fun features; like its famous, easy-to-use piano roll. FL studio is perfect for creatives who want to put together musical ideas quickly.
The DAW also has great customization options with their layouts, allowing you to move around windows inside the interface to best suit your preferences. It also comes with a great variety of instruments and effects, however, you will need to purchase certain premium selections.
Another great thing about FL Studios is that they provide lifetime free upgrades, unlike their competitor Ableton Live. This can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you’re looking for a great DAW to start with, FL Studios is a popular choice, and very simple to learn.
Check out FL Studio here.
Ableton live is commonly known as the standard for electronic and digital music.
Although Ableton is not free, its design provides an efficient, intuitive, and simple workflow perfect for less experienced users. It carries a single-screen interface, clip-based composition options, and even an integrated “help view” tool that provides tutorials on how to use the platform.
Ableton Live was originally created as a tool for live performance, but has developed into an incredible and unique DAW with both production and live performance in mind.
Some other perks include its hundreds of stock sounds, instruments, and effects to choose from. Ableton also has features like linked track editing, ( Link two or more tracks to edit their content simultaneously.) hybrid reverb, and elastic pitch and time.
You can make your experience with Ableton Live even more interactive by getting the Ableton live Push; a fun and light-up hardware instrument putting music right at your fingertips.
Click here to learn more about Ableton Live.
Not only is Garage Band another great free DAW, it comes along with almost every Mac and iOS device. You don’t have to be super savvy in DAWs to get the hang of this platform, the interface is very user-friendly and comes with a great selection of free audio loops to incorporate into your projects.
This beginner DAW is ideal for songwriters primarily looking to create tracks to write with or people who are primarily artists, but have an ear for production too.
A great thing about this DAW is that your projects are portable and easily accessed on multiple devices. You can easily share projects from your Mac desktop to your iPhone or iPad in just a few clicks! You can also save projects to your cloud to access anytime making it perfect for songwriters on the go. Using Garageband on large touch screens, like an iPad, can be very helpful for beginners as they can move and manipulate everything by touch.
Garage band also comes with some pretty awesome recording filters, built-in tuning, instruments, and mix effects. Check it out here.
So what DAW out of this list do you think is the best fit for you?
If you still aren’t sure, keep in mind most DAWs allow you to test them out for a free trial. So dive in and try them out!
For more info on DAWs and production check out our YouTube Channel Playlist 100 Music Industry Questions.